Q: [All Ages] What tips do you offer for parents and kids for keeping safe during Halloween trick or treating and other related activities?
A: Whether they’re going as a princess or a goblin, make sure they’re prepared like a Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America recommends that kids bring what we call the “Cub Scout Six Essentials” on every hike. And what’s Halloween if not the most glorious candy-filled hike of the year? Take these six items on the trail with you and you’ll be set for a successful Halloween.
- First aid kit — While you won’t need to pack the jumbo first aid kit you keep in your car, you will want to bring along a few small bandages and some antibiotic ointment. These tools can be the difference between a scrape that ends the night and one that makes a good story the next day.
- Filled water bottle — Fill a reusable water bottle so you and your kids don’t get parched and tire out before you hit the house with the king-size candy bars.
- Flashlight or headlamp — A flashlight is only as good as its batteries so make sure you have fresh ones in before heading out the door.
- Whistle — This can be a critical safety tool, or the reason your neighbors decide to trick-or-treat without you next year. Explain to your child that the whistle should only be used if they feel that they’re in danger or if they get separated from the group.
- Trail food — While the treats will be plentiful, they won’t provide the kind of sustaining energy needed for a successful Halloween hike. Pack some trail mix or another travel-friendly food that has some nutritional value. This will keep your child from filling up solely on sugar and will provide the kind of healthy boost they’ll need for the evening.
- Sun protection — Put on SPF 30 or higher if you’ll be out during the day.
Pack these six essential items into a small backpack or fanny pack, stick on a reflective strip or two for added safety, and lace up a pair of supportive walking shoes. (Yes, that even includes those going as Dorothy).
Jeff Herrmann is the Scout Executive/CEO in the Boy Scouts of America Orange County Council.